The house was packed for the featured poets, The Wreckless Rhymers, students of Daniel Nester's "English 218" class Poetry in Performance at the College of St. Rose. Parents, friends, & community poets for the open mic all turned out. Since it was Holy Thursday in the Roman Christian liturgy, I read both of William Blake's poems titled "Holy Thursday" to invoke the Muse, then on to the open mic.
Alan Catlin cited his 34 years as a bartender as a source for his poetry & read a just-written "No Exit No Return," another in his string of character portraits of bar patrons. Carolee Sherwood read her first sonnet, with rhyme even, "The Goldilocks Sonnet." Doug Holiday read a long piece by Carl Hancock Rux, a grim story told from a child's point of view, "Blue Candy." Bob Sharkey read a poem about the year 2001 & his introduction to the open mic poetry scene, "What Poetry Is." After asking me if I was in South Jersey in 1967 (I said he should ask his mother), Daniel Nester read a touching poem about his grandmother, a party held without her, saying this was the 10th anniversary of her death.
Joe Krausman told us a lot about Jesus in his humorous poem, "While Stuck In Traffic." Miriam Axel-Lute is behind in the poem-a-day project, having chosen the theme of "faulty assumptions of neo-classical economics," & read her poem titled "Posit: Maximum Efficiency is Always Best," much more amusing than the title, or theme. This was Grayson Edic's first time at this open mic & he read his poem "Urine Analysis," from what he called a series of bizarre love poems. Altranise Harris had read this past weekend at the WordFest & showed up tonight to read a revised version of a poem she had read then, "The Body Remembers," about therapeutic massage. Since not only was it Holy Thursday, but still Passover, I ended the open mic with my poem "What Passover Has Taught Me" (I mean, if Joe Krausman can tell us about Jesus, I can talk about Passover).
my Flickr! site.
First up was the group "SL2 Squared" (Samantha Morency, Lorin Schwartz & Lauren Robinson). Their first poem was an exquisite corpse, then a back-&-forth with "Father," ending with a tribute to Nester's audio blogs. The group "Screw Loose" (Tiffany Burnett, Nicole Melkun & Paige Nadeau) did a multi-voice rant about an ex-, entitled "Embarrassment." The "Untitled Blonde Group" (Amanda Moran, Brittany Burns & Monica Kaiser) was just that & performed "Roller Coaster Romance," an apt description of still another relationship going bad.
"Bumpin' Uglies" (Taylor Merrihew, Nicole DuBois & Juliet Barney) contained the only guy in the class, the center of "Bitch Please," on the history of feminism & the nature of gender roles. The duo of "Bonk 'n' Brown" (Taylor Brown & Katelyn Bonk) did "Teacher Tell Off" about the bad habits of (some) professors, then a romp through a Thesaurus with "Synonyms." The final group, "Tijuana A" (Sunshine Osella, Liz Corey & Samantha Scully) (originally called "Tijuana Arousal") did an exquisite corpse, then what they called a semi-found poem, "How-To Guide," & ended with a lesson on remembering our "Manners."
The entire class came up for a brief finale poem, using some fragments from their earlier pieces. A great night of multi-voice group collaboration & performance. The students at the College of St. Rose are fortunate to have a professor such as Daniel Nester who will drag them off "the hill" & into town & we in town are fortunate as well to be able to experience such energy & just plain fun.
& we do this every third Thursday, sign-up at 7:00 PM, open mic starts at 7:30 PM, with a featured poet, at the Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany, NY.